Monday, June 1, 2020

Try Gardening for Mental Health While Quarantined by Carol Russell

Photo: Carol Russell

People react differently to stressful situations, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, has caused feelings ranging from concern or worry to anxiety or anger. When we’re wounded in body, mind, or spirit, we’re often drawn to the natural world as a place to heal. For some, it’s a hike in the mountains or along the shore of a lake – both difficult to do if you are quarantined or are under a “stay at home order”.  It is much easier to have our home or community victory garden as our place of healing. Personally, I simply remember my favorite things in the garden and then I don’t feel so bad.

In addition, the recent COVID-19 stay-at-home requirement is providing more free time to pursue our interests. Gardening is a way for people to turn their feelings of helplessness into something nourishing – vegetables.  Garden plants and practices offer unique lessons and opportunities to clients in a horticultural-therapy program described in Horticulture-The Art and Science of Smart Gardening May/June 2020. A Supportive Nature.  The victory garden may actually save lives by helping to alleviate mental health issues resulting from the COVID – 19 Virus. 

Furthermore, a recent article in Psychology Today, titled ”10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening” listed numerous activities that we practice while gardening that provide major health benefits such as: acceptance, overcoming perfectionism, a growth mindset, connecting with others and your world, being present, exercise, stress reduction, and heathy eating.  PsychologyToday  
Gardening is a way for people to turn their feelings of helplessness into something nourishing. This year, a vegetable garden may also provide one thing we seem to be lacking at the moment: control over our lives. It includes the satisfaction of raising nutritious and delicious food, exercising outdoors while socially distancing, relieving pressure on the nation’s food supply system, passing essential knowledge on to our children and growing extra to share with others. Where to begin to start your own garden? CSU-Grow&Give